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I am applying for a J1 visa in the USA. One of the requirements listed here

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange.html

says that I need a passport with a validity date six months beyond the intended period of stay in the US, but I am from Australia which has an exemption to that rule, and it says I only need a passport valid for my intended period of stay.

If my intended period of stay is 3 years, but my passport expires about 4 months before the end of that three year period, do I actually need to renew it before applying for the visa? It's possible for me to renew my passport from within the USA, so I wasn't sure if this was necessary. I may also visit home during that 3 year period, in case that matters.

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    This question belongs on Expatriates. – phoog Feb 12 at 2:47
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    What country? Does this country's exemption appear in US law? – DavidSupportsMonica Feb 12 at 2:48
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    @DavidSupportsMonica I suppose the country is one of the 125 or so on the six month list. I think that's more than half of countries that issue passports. – phoog Feb 12 at 3:18
  • @DavidSupportsMonica it doesn't matter what country j1visaquestion is from, only that we know it's one of the six-month club countries. And we know that. – phoog Feb 12 at 5:06
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In practice, what the rule means is that the CBP officer at entry will put a date on your I-94 that is no later than 6 months before your passport expires (for passports not on the 6-month club) or no later than when your passport expires (for passports on the 6-month club). In case your I-94 has a date that is limited by passport expiration, you can still renew your passport while in the US, but then you will need to either apply for Extension of Status to extend the I-94 without leaving the US, or leave and re-enter the US with the new passport to get a longer period of admission that is no longer limited by passport expiration.

However, almost all J1 are admitted for "D/S" (duration of status) instead of a date on their I-94. In this case, the rule has no effect, as long as at the time of entry the passport has at least 6 months of validity left (for passports not on the 6-month club) or any length of validity left (for passports on the 6-month club). People with "D/S" do no need to apply for Extension of Status -- their status already lasts indefinitely, as long as the person otherwise complies with the conditions of that status (e.g. for J1, be in good standing with the program and have a valid DS-2019; and you remain in status for 30 days after the successful completion of the program).

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